Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The trial of the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Farouk Lawan, was stalled on Wednesday by the inability of the prosecution to produce its witness.
Lawan is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly corruptly collecting $500,000 out of the $3m bribe he requested from Otedola.
He is accused of accepting the bribe in exchange for the removal of Otedola’s company’s name – Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd – from the list of firms indicted by the House committee for allegedly abusing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012.
At the resumption of proceedings wednesday before the Abuja High Court, in Lugbe, prosecution lawyer, Olajide Olaleye-Kumuyi told the trial judge, Justice Angela Otaluka that he could not produce the next prosecution witness.
He pleaded with the judge to postpone proceedings to another date, an appeal the judge heeded and adjourned to May 18.
The first prosecution witness, Boniface Emenalo, who was until recently a co-accused with Lawan, told the court on Tuesday that, on Otedela’s invitations, he met with him (Otedole) on April 22, 2012 and on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at his home in Aso Drive, Maitama, Abuja.
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